LESS than one in four teenagers hit the recommended target of two hours or less screen time a day, research has found.
The study, carried out by researchers at University College London and Loughborough University and published online in Jama Pediatrics, said these ‘lifestyle behaviours’ may affect both their physical and mental health in later life.
Scientists looked at whether kids aged 14 were hitting three Government targets – getting eight hours sleep on school nights, spending two hours or less in front of a screen and doing at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity.
Only 9.7 per cent of kids included in the study hit all three targets.
The experts analysed data from 3899 UK members of the Millennium Cohort Study collected from January 2015 to March 2016 when the members were aged 14.
They were asked to self-report how long they slept at night, how long they spent on a screen and physical activity was monitored with a wrist tracker.
In total, 378 of the teens met recommendations for both sleep, screen time and moderate to vigorous physical activity.
A total of 3,481 or 89.3 per cent met guidelines for sleep and 1,579 or 40.5 per cent did the recommended level of exercise.
Girls from the highest income bracket were most likely to meet all three of the guidelines. Girls and boys with depressive symptoms were less likely to meet all three when compared to children without symptoms.
Obese boys were also less likely to meet the targets.
In conclusion, the authors wrote: “Screen time was the main driver of not meeting all three recommendations, followed by moderate to physical activity and then sleep.”